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Another tragic loss

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by rallen13, Jun 26, 2007.

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  1. rallen13

    rallen13 Member

    With full awareness (and sadness) regarding the loss of wrestler Chris Benoit, the sports world has another to remember this day. J. Fred Duckett, longtime PA voice of the Houston Astros, Rice Owls, and PA man for the 1984 Olympics track and field events, passed away yesterday in Houston at age 74.
    J. Fred is probably best known for his introductions of former Astros player, and now coach, Jose Cruz. J. Fred would always intro him as "Jose Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz". When Cruz retired as a player, he gave J. Fred a bat from his last game and autographed it with about a dozen "u's", just the way he had always heard it pronounced.
    Ducket was a gentleman, a brilliant scholar and teacher, and loved the youngsters. He was a high school football official for many years and served as SFOA (Southwest Football Officials Association, now called TASO, Texas Association of Sports Officials) President for a number of years. When not officiating, you would often find him in the PA booth calling the games at the Astrodome and Rice Stadium.
    I had the great pleasure to also do PA at both venues for over 20 years, and many was the Saturday when J. Fred and I would alternate quadruple-header playoff games. I learned much from him. He was never a 'homer", always respecting both teams. He even had a unique way of making a team that was losing 49-0 take pride in its accomplishments and feel good about itself.
    This was true even in Rice University games. He would give them their due as the home team, but always with respect to the visitor, be it the University of Texas Longhorns or Notre Dame (both of the latter he did announce at Rice Stadium).
    Those who were fortunate enough to have ever heard J. Fred at work will miss his talent and his style, which can only be described as pure class. I heard it for over 30 years and learned from it for 20 more and I miss him already.
    So long, buddy.
  2. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

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